New Brunswick NJ CDS Possession in a Motor Vehicle Lawyers
Defending Clients Charged with Drug Possession in a Car in Middlesex County, NJ
Many people in New Jersey are often shocked to find out they have been charged with multiple offenses stemming from the same incident involving drugs in a car. If police pull you over and find a drug like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin in your vehicle, they can legally charge you with a criminal offense for drug possession and a traffic offense for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle. These charges are distinct and both are very serious. If convicted for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, you will have your driver’s license suspended for two years. This mandatory license suspension cannot be avoided in New Jersey unless the charge for drug possession in a vehicle is dismissed. The experienced drug defense lawyers at Proetta & Oliver are prepared to help you deal with these serious charges and move on with your life. We know you can’t afford to lose your license for two years, in addition to the other penalties you may be facing. If you have been charged with possession of CDS in a vehicle, find out how we have assisted clients in similar predicaments in New Brunswick, Edison, South Brunswick, Monroe, Carteret, and across Middlesex County, NJ. We provide consultations free of charge so call (732) 659-9600 or contact us online today for more information.
NJSA 39:4-49.1 Possession of CDS in a Motor Vehicle in New Jersey
Section 39:4-49.1 of the New Jersey Statutes explains drug possession by a motor vehicle operator offenses. According to this section:
No person shall operate a motor vehicle on any highway while knowingly having in his possession or in the motor vehicle any controlled dangerous substance as classified in Schedules I, II, III, IV and V of the “New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act,” P.L. 1970, c. 226 (C. 24:21-1 et seq.) or any prescription legend drug, unless the person has obtained the substance or drug from, or on a valid written prescription of, a duly licensed physician, veterinarian, dentist or other medical practitioner licensed to write prescriptions intended for the treatment or prevention of disease in man or animals or unless the person possesses a controlled dangerous substance pursuant to a lawful order of a practitioner or lawfully possesses a Schedule V substance.
A person who violates this section shall be fined not less than $50.00 and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle for a period of two years from the date of his conviction.
Elements of the Offense
In order to obtain a conviction for a violation of NJSA 39:4-49.1, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
- There was operation of a motor vehicle;
- On a highway (any road for public use);
- While in knowing possession;
- Of a controlled dangerous substance;
- That was located on the person of the driver or within the vehicle.
There are a few things to note about these elements. One is that a possession of CDS charge cannot apply to anyone other than the driver of the vehicle. This is important because a criminal charge for drug possession may be given to several people in a car where drugs were found, but only the person driving the car can be charged with NJSA 39:4-49.1. If you are a passenger charged with possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, a knowledgeable attorney can have this charge dismissed.
Edison NJ CDS in Vehicle Defense Attorney
A person convicted of possessing drugs in a car is subject to a mandatory two-year driver’s license suspension and a minimum fine of $50 in New Jersey. These penalties are issued in addition to any other sentence imposed for possession of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or prescription drugs. Clearly, risking your ability to drive for the next two years is simply not worth it. Speak with an experienced Middlesex County drug defense attorney at Proetta & Oliver about how best to approach your case. We will discuss your specific circumstances and explain how we can help. Call our office in Edison today at (732) 659-9600 for a free consultation.